10. Palpatine’s Plan
When a film establishes a very large, complex plot for its villains that involves a lot of deception, it can easily fall into a convoluted trap of boredom and stupidity.
This is exactly what happened with the prequel films and the precision needed to make sure the thin plot of the films played out — despite everything that probably should have gone wrong but somehow conveniently didn’t.
- What if Queen Amidala signed the treaty to legalize the occupation of Naboo? Palpatine would not have been able to depose the previous chancellor.
- What if Anakin had not killed Dooku? What if Dooku, realizing he was being tossed aside, revealed Palpatine’s identity?
- What if Anakin had died in any of the hundred times he should have?
- What if Anakin had lost the pod race or not been involved with the bet between Qui-Gon and Watto?
- What if, at any point, the Senate or Jedi challenge Palpatine’s power-grabbing?
- What if General Grevious killed Palpatine upon his capture? That might have helped him, you know, win the war against the Republic.
A massive plot that involves a ridiculous amount of deception leads to this problem. A character who has omniscient powers is used as a way to excuse this. Palpatine is a Sith lord, so he just knew all of this stuff would happen, right?
Having such a massively complex conflict element like this with so many loopholes underscores a major problem of the prequels. They are more about the excitement and action than the plot and characters. Whatever seems the most badass and evil is what goes into the film, even if it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Next: 9. Leia Knows Who Her Mother Is